Founded in 2012 by two Charlotte Fire Department members, the Carolina Brotherhood is an annual cycling event comprised of active duty and retired firefighters and police officers from South Carolina and North Carolina who ride to honor first responders who have died in the line of duty in the two states. This year’s memorial ride, which takes place July 25-29, will be from Columbia, SC to Raleigh, NC, and the group’s first overnight stop will be in Greenville Monday night.
Approximately 30 riders and 20 support staff will leave Columbia Monday morning, led and followed by emergency vehicles, and the group will stop every 20 miles or so to fill up water bottles, eat and visit local fire and police departments along the route. They are expected to arrive in Greenville around 5 p.m. Monday afternoon, and will spend the night at the Boiling Springs Fire Department at 208 Blacks Road. The fire department will provide showers, as well as dinner and breakfast the following morning. The group hopes to meet and talk with family members and co-workers of fallen first responders from the area during their stay.
They will depart Greenville between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning and ride 108 miles to Rock Hill for their next overnight stay. The remaining legs of the journey include Rock Hill to Salisbury, NC (90 miles) on Wednesday, Salisbury to Swepsonville (90 miles) on Thursday and Swepsonville to Raleigh (65 miles) on Friday.
The mission of the Carolina Brotherhood is to provide emotional and financial support for the families of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty from the Carolinas. Among their goals are building awareness and appreciation of the sacrifices the first responders made and honoring their memory. To do so, they rely on sponsorships and individual donations. Each rider must raise a minimum of $400 prior to the ride, and additional funds are raised through events and t-shirt sales.
Supporters can follow the group’s progress on Twitter at @CarolinaBHood, where they will be posting real-time updates and pictures throughout ride week. Additionally, citizens in the cities and towns they will be traveling through are encouraged to line the route to offer encouragement and show their support.